Does no one use HumanIK?


I have to ask because I’m sincerely perplexed, but on two different forums, this one and simplymaya, I asked people how to adjust the orientation of the FK joints because the default ones for the fingers are quite nonsensical.

Strangely enough, I never got a response on either forum even though I saw that my thread got hundreds of views.

I eventually just finished the project at the time by using the anatomically incorrect joint orientation but that cost a lot of extra time.

I see that HumanIK is used in high budget productions and I just can’t imagine that I’m the only one who ever had this issue. So, does anyone else even use HumanIK or was I really just foolish to have used it and everyone else is using something else?


most people i know are using motionbuilder if they have to work with human IK…
the maya counterpart isnt that much in use…


I would say Human IK in Maya IS in use, but mostly for mocap retargeting between skeletons and rigs, not for keyframe animation. I had hoped, AD would invest in making HIK a viable option, but i guess custom rigs are more comfortable for most. Funny, since they see it as a full character animation solution for Maya LT.


From what I talk to keyframe animators, HumanIK is totally unusable for that.


Huh, I heard of MotionBuilder but I opted not to investigate it cause it seemed more than I needed but I shall look into it.

I’m a keyframe animator at this point and I guess what kills me about HumanIK is that for my purposes, HumanIK is actually 90% of the way there for what I need, in fact I have been able to get satisfactory results with HumanIK it’s just more work than I know it needs to be. From what I can tell, it is a very powerful platform overall, if I had the chops for it I would script some modifications to it to make it ‘all the way there’.

Also, I guess I was reluctant to look at custom rigs because I figured that I would need to pay money and it’s like if I already have this humanIK right here in the base package then why not?


I love the idea behind human IK… Setup a rig based on it or a custom rig retargeted by it and start applying mocap and then bake to keyframes and begin making animation as you want.

The skeleton for that idea is there and if you can learn the odds and ends of its “gotchas”, which can be annoying to deal breakers depending on what you want, you can start blocking out animation rather quickly.

I was actually quite bummed how little documentation there is to it. I did the digital tutors stuff on it but even that entire set really feels like the surface of what it could do.

Many people use motion builder to clean up mocap, or at least characterize the skeleton, before it ends up in Maya for adding the mocap into the custom rigs.

I looked at iKinema and a few other mocap options as well.

Lets just say that there is a big opportunity for someone to make humanIK or a similar idea much more accessible and streamlined via a well designed workflow and UI.

But what is there can get you from A to B, maybe even A to Z, if you plan it and test your process enough to know its limitations and where it can break.

But I agree, it feels like something that could use polish. A once more update to get its feature set more complete.


Yeah, I am definitely shocked, given how much work must have gone into humanik, how weak the documentation is considering how so many other features of Maya are so exhaustively documented.

But I gotta ask, how did you work around the joint orients for the fingers? If I could adjust the fk control rig’s joint orients for the FK control rig, I would consider HumanIK 97% of what I want it to be. It’s such a hassle to rotate on one axis and then have to rotate on another axis when the carpals past the palm only rotate on one axis in real life.


I feel your pain. I’m in a project that uses HIK for hand keyframe animation (go figure, nothing makes much sense within Japanese companies and their workflow among other things…) and there’s absolutely no mocap involved. In a studio with no TD, we don’t have many options. I showed them how powerful Advanced Skeleton is yet, they refused and went with HIK. It was a year of painful animation process. Simple things that would have take one day tool a week and so on.

Now they want to add an animal and guess what, using HIK!!! All I could find is an atrocious example of quadrupeds on the Autodesk official Maya site and after a day of research, the only thing available is a youtube video of a Russian guy explaining a very basic horse rig using MotionBuilder. I applied what I’ve seen in Maya and it almost works but I would like to know how to change the local rotation axis as well.


It’s a neat biped system (but way too slow in Maya–which is annoying since it’s really fast in MB), but it’s no more a quadruped system than a Gothic cathedral. Could try explaining to them what the “H” in “HIK” stands for, though it sounds like a lost cause.


AnimAitor, thank you for your reply, it helps to know other people also have this issue.

I haven’t upgraded Maya in quite a while. HumanIk STILL has these problems? Still no local rotation axis adjustment? After I’m done with this project I’m going to have to shop around for something different.


It looks like there’s no way to change the local rotation axis of HIK skeletons or rather I say, it makes no difference as HIK will re-orient them to its specifications when adding the Control Rig so there’s no point on trying.

As for my quadruped test, using MotionBuilder I could manage to do a usable rig. It has a few more options when creating the skeleton as compared to Maya (pre Maya 2016.5 or Ext2) but Advanced Skeleton quadruped rig is year ahead of course.


Long story, but I’m still stuck with Maya 2014, what features does Maya 2016.5 have?

Glad to hear you got it somewhere workable, I’m trying to picture in my head a humanik rig improvised as a quadruped and… it’s not pretty…


The only thing new in 2016.5 is adding a million extra twist joints, which I’ve never found very usable and I just rig around them. (I prefer to treat twist joints as part of the underlying skeleton rigging, like any other helper joints, so I just give HIK the primary joints and don’t tell it about the twist at all.) They also randomly moved some menu options around, for some reason. (The “create control rig” option is no longer in the menu and is only one of the nearly-indistinguishable buttons now which took me a while to find. I wish they’d stop with the frivolous UI changes that break everyone’s usage habits.)

A big problem with HIK in Maya last I checked was that it was really buggy when used with animation layers. I don’t remember exactly, but I think changes just got saved to the layers incorrectly. This one was baffling–HIK is meant for mocap, and animation layers seem like one of the most important features for editing mocap.


sigh thank you for your perspectives, looks like I’m going to have to shop around for another workflow.

Such a shame, humanik needs relatively little to become applicable to a majority of workflows.

  • Japanese people: Using HumanIK free tool.
  • AnimAitor: Yo, use this 2000$ tool instead.
  • Japanese people: No
  • AnimAitor: surprised pikachu face


I was given a license from Oyvind for AS so no need to pay $3000 (not $2000)

Who has a surprised pikachu face now? XD



While using human ik, you should build your oriented skeleton and map them to ikHuman base skeleton to have your orientation in place.




Hello I think the main issue if the Human IK workflow is not design for Maya.
is more design for motion builder and it toolset.
in our game company we started to use the humanik solver with some custom extra extensions using only tools provided by motion builder, for humanoids, characters, and for me is a really useful solution for keyframe animation and mocap editing specially the way that is really easy to creat space switching systems with some constrains in MB.
but could be nice that autodesk does a better documentation in the future specially if they create a version that enables add more limbs fro custom not cuadruped or bipedal characters/